Friday, 3 April 2020

seat check

From Present /&/ Correct, we are referred to another resource for vintage Japanese railway ephemera and memorabilia (see previously) in this collection of tickets and fare information. Though much of this fantastic design have become relics due to electronic ticketing, there’s no reason we can’t appreciate the craft and incorporate the same level of artistry into contemporary conductor inspections as well.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

house proud

From the always excellent Things Magazine that’s been performing real yeoman’s service over the best week to keep us entertained and engaged comes this interesting study and reflection on the British practise of naming houses—sort of parallel to the American conceit of naming cabins and beach homes which I still think continues apace, how it fell out of fashion and what that says about class and aspiration.
Though the christenings of their original builders are upheld for the most part by later residents, Elsinore, Sans Souci, Rosemont or even whole resort towns to give them place in history, the custom is sneered at as a bit naff (I term I first learned applied to Cats, perhaps not justifiably) and one common appellation (considered the worst offender) Sunnyside turned out to have a surprisingly ancient pedigree. Much more to explore at the links above.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

penthouse playset

With some ninety-six hours of unused footage to draw from, a group of editors and archivists under the direction of E. Elias Merhiga are planning to produce a restored version of the critically panned, arguably unfilmable 1980 erotic historical drama Caligula that is truer to the original vision of author Gore Vidal, director Tinto Brass and producer adult magazine mogul Bob Guccione.
Though overlapping in some regards and quite distinct in other, this film—mostly rumours thereof rather, I think—occupies the same sort of place in my mind as another soap opera about Roman society that I’ve been enjoying recently. Among the scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor were these incredulous and wildly inappropriate cross-promotional line of action figures—riding off the marketing success of Star Wars, a film with half the budget of Caligula, pitched to Guccione by a company called Cinco Toys—from Adult Swim fame. More to explore at the links above.

voyage autour de ma chamber

Via Cynical-C, we are invited to indulge the travelogue and memoir by revolutionary army officer Xavier de Maistre (*1763 – †1852) penned whilst he was confined to quarters for six weeks (forty-two days) as punishment for participating in an illegal duel.
Serving his sentence without stint nor quarrel, this is the sort of reflective appreciation that we could all take a cue from—especially when so many are not afforded the same luxury—de Maistre satirises the traditional gap year, grand tour narrative accorded to young men of sufficient rank of the continent and journeys about his suite of rooms as if his furnishings were exotic locations. The work is not only the author’s amblings and impressions but also really engages the imagination of his audience in a sympathetic manner—surprising as de Maistre never expected to have a readership and had no intention to publish it, but his brother was so taken with the account, he had it put in print.

hedgehog in the fog

Our friends over at Calvert Journal have curated a selection of Soviet-era cartoons and stop animation programmes that are certainly deserving of one’s nostalgia and a welcome break from focusing on the ongoing crises of the present. Clips include Crocodile Gena and his Friends along with other children’s classics and the 1975 titular work by esteemed, award-winning animator Yuri Norstein.


Via our ever excellent aficionado of fine hypertext products, Jason Kottke, we are treated to this highly satisfying collaboration by Donato Sansone with audio by Enrico Ascoli that’s artfully arranged stock footage whose actions seamlessly merge into the next for this continuous Rube Goldberg-esque (see previously) chain of events. The title, concatenation, in linguistics and computer programming refers to the syntax of stringing operations together. Much more to explore at the link up top.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

god gave us grace on november 8 2016 to change the course we were on

In order to—among other counter-programming techniques—to pre-empt the time-slot generally allotted to local news coverage (such as it is) Dear Leader has implemented a nightly summit ostensibly on the exponential spread of the novel corona virus in the US with an occasional word from our sponsors, as in this recent infomercial praising what Trump, whom is portraying hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths as acceptable losses in a perverse Hegelian dialectic that solves the manufactured crisis on slightly better terms, has meant for the country.
Sweet dreams and nighty nightmare—it’s bedtime (see more on their shared business models here and here) for the republic. Do not watch this dangerous and dishonest propaganda; there is far too much at stake.


Once again Present /&/ Correct directs us to a brilliant curated collection in the 1938 redesigns of municipal crests and regional coats of arms executed by futurist sculptor and graphic designer Fortunato Depero (*1892 – †1960)—whom founded a utopian, reinventionist art movement similar, parallel to Bauhaus after World War I in Rovereto.
We especially liked the blazons for Como and Pisa but all have the same visually striking effect. Depero unfortunately is not accorded the same level of attention as some of his peers but enjoys a legacy nonetheless, including the unique and ubiquitous design of the bottle that Campari soda comes in.